Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Jail: The Women's Hell (2006)

It's been three years since Bruno Mattei left us to go to that hell of the living dead where we all long to be after death. And yes, I miss him and if you don't, I will force you to miss him. There was a lot of love for him today at Facebook-discussion, and here's some the things written about him: "Whatever crap the writers gave him, he still shot it like a professional", "He did anything they threw at him and never was ashamed of it", "Regarding Mattei, he makes fun, silly, and entertaining movies. I'll take that over some dogcrap like JUNO any day of the week", "He was the last of the mohicans! He was like a punk who wouldn't accept it when everyone told him the movement was over" and so on...So what suits this evening better than write a few words about The Jail: The Women's Hell?

Yvette Yzon plays some chick being imprisoned in women's jail out in the jungle. It's run by an evil lesbian and her small army of rape-happy male guards and also a bunch of sadistic hose-waving female guards. The usual staff ya know. Yvette gets to know how the prison is run, and decided to escape together with some of her newfound friends there. But what they don't know is that the prison director has planned something very special for them...

There's really not much to tell about the story. It has a lot of sleaze and nudity, rape and corny dialogue. Like all WIP-movies. We get to know characters that dies terrible deaths, and also some very juicy and fleshy flashbacks from a nightclub. So from that point of view it's a quite crappy movie - BUT, remember. This is Mattei directing and he does it with such excellence that you soon forget the retared screenplay. It's shot with digital cameras, and I was afraid it would look like porn - but it don't. The photography looks very good, and the atmospheric locations helps a lot. Mattei keeps up the energy through the whole movie and never forgets that a movie like this never becomes worth watching if it's not entertaining. That's why there's something happening all the time, from rapes and torture, to gore and shoot-outs. And in between entertaining dialogue and (actually) some nice performances.

Yvette Yzon works fine as the hero and has the charisma to carry a movie. Around her is a couple of nice performances, especially the older woman that becomes her friend in the prison and b-movie veterans like Jim Gaines, Mike Monty (in a wonderful cameo) and David Brass makes their characters fun and interesting. It's just a darn good modern exploitation movie that is proud over it's heritage and is not ashamed of being sleazy, violent and crazy.

Violent? Yes, because Mattei and his crew gives us a finale which has some very brutal gore effects. Maybe a bit primitive, but old-school and damn gory. Cut off breast, knife up the... yeah, you know, big bloody squibs, stabbings, decapitation and other blood-spurting surprises. It's the cherry on the cake, one final chance to give the genre-audience value for it's money. And sure, Mattei knows his work and gives us one of his most solid movies in many, many years.

Mattei seemed to get busier and busier for each year. Maybe he felt that his time was running out and he wanted to film and film and film and film, just to leave even more classics behind him. I'm very grateful for this productivity, because now I have tons of movies to find and watch, and everything will feel like the golden exploitation era of Italy and the Philippines! Life can't get better than that!


Alex B. said...

I'm also very glad for Bruno's final burst of creativity.
Of his digital films I've seen SNUFF TRAP and LAND OF DEATH which were pretty shit but a lot of fun nevertheless.
Thank you, Bruno - you remain a great entertainer

CiNEZiLLA said...

I havent seen any of Mattei's last stuff. I tend to keep away from the stuff made post eighties as it usually lacks that "mood" of the earlier stuff. Although there are some pretty damned good pieces from those days around. Perhaps I have to check out Mattei's last stuff then... :)

daniel said...

I confuse him with Andrea Bianchi for some reason? I'll have to watch more Mattei to sort them out!